The origins of Derbyshire's crest and colours

Wednesday 18th November 2020
Written by Stephen Martin

Throughout the year, Derbyshire supporters have been sending in their memories and questions. Here, Mark Beecroft Stretton emailed us about the Derbyshire County Cricket Club crest.

Mark wrote; “I am curious to discover the history behind DCCC’s emblem which features the royal crown above the Tudor Rose – when Derbyshire is not, traditionally, recognised as a royal county and, additionally, I’m curious as to whether the similarities to Hampshire’s emblem – which is traditionally recognised as a royal county – are by accident or design?”

Our Heritage Officer, David Griffin, writes;

This is an interesting question from Mark.

The club’s badge, the golden Tudor rose and St Edward’s crown, had been used as an emblem of Derbyshire since the 15t century, not long after Henry VII married Elizabeth of York and adopted the Tudor rose badge combining the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster. The rose is coloured gold to symbolise quality and differentiate it from the emblems of Yorkshire and Lancashire. A Tudor rose also appears in the arms of the county council.

There is no known connection – other than the obvious similarities – to the Hampshire Rose and Crown.

Mark’s question also allows me to mention the club colours, too.

The earliest reference to colours is in a Derby Mercury report of the fund-raising bazaar in 1884.

“Derbyshire ended the summer several hundred pounds in debt and to cover this and the £800 cost of the pavilion, £1,200 was needed. Members and others subscribed to a fund but by the end of March 1884 there was a shortfall of £500.

From 24-26 April a three-day grand bazaar was held at Derby’s Drill Hall, with stallholders wearing rosettes of the new club colours of chocolate, Cambridge Blue and pale yellow.”

The colours were later amended to chocolate, amber and pale blue. Blue is frequently described as one of the traditional colours of the county, representative of the county’s rivers and reservoirs.

This is only speculation but Arthur Wilson, the Honorary Secretary might have been the driving force – he was involved in founding the Friars and the Butterflies and might have wanted to improve the club’s image – but this is only an unsubstantiated theory.

Peter Seddon researched the period deeply for his The Men Who Made the Rams book and, of course, Derby County used the colours for their early matches in 1884.

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